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Understanding Product Placement Strategies and How They Work

Admin BFI
2 May 2024
Understanding Product Placement Strategies and How They Work

The intense competition among brands in business triggers various ways to market products accurately and effectively. One unique marketing strategy frequently used by marketers is product placement. This strategy is employed to enhance brand awareness, increase sales, and attract consumers to purchase promoted products in the long term. In other words, Product Placement aims to introduce a brand or product and capture the audience's intent to buy when they shop. When executed correctly, this strategy can have a positive and effective impact on a brand.


To delve deeper into product placement, let's explore this article to the end!



1. Definition and How Product Placement Works

1.1 Definition of Product Placement

Product placement is an advertising or marketing technique that promotes brands, products, or services to consumers naturally, where the advertisement doesn't seem to promote the product explicitly. It's a marketing technique where various brands or services are featured in productions targeting a broader audience. Product placement is also known as "embedded marketing" or implied marketing.


1.2 Types of Product Placement Strategies

  1. Screen Placement

Screen placement is the most recognizable type of product placement. It involves the visual appearance of products within a media program. The products can be naturally integrated into the background of scenes, held by characters, or even become an integral part of the props used.

  1. Script Placement

Script placement focuses on verbal mentions of products in media programs. Instead of just visually featuring products, this strategy utilizes dialogue among characters to naturally mention specific brand names or products. Script placement can be subtle or seamlessly integrated into the storyline.

  1. Plot Placement

Plot placement is the most integrated product placement strategy with the storyline. The displayed products are not merely visual complements or passing mentions. In plot placement, products become essential elements of the narrative, even influencing the storyline or characters.


2. How Product Placement Works

As explained earlier, product placement is a strategy that showcases brands or services but not in the context of traditional advertising. The promoted products are not immediately recognized by the audience. Even if noticed, the audience may not immediately realize that it's an advertisement. In fact, the audience may need a clearer observation, watching 2-3 times to identify the displayed products.


2.1 Social Media

In social media, a brand usually collaborates with influencers to use their products or services. Typically, an influencer is paid and provided with free products or services from the brand they're promoting. Influencers then share these experiences in their posts.


2.2 TV and Film

Product placement is commonly found in TV series and movies. The approach involves creating characters who use specific products or services from particular brands within the film or TV show. The brand doesn't need to be explicitly mentioned, but the product or service logos are often prominently displayed and clarified.


2.3 Retail

Nowadays, product placement strategies are also prevalent in retail stores. An example of product placement in retail stores is special racks filled with products from 1-2 specific brands. These racks often have more eye-catching colors compared to others, enticing the audience to visit them.


2.4 Verbal

Product placement can also be done verbally. For instance, a public figure talks about a specific product or service during an interview or reality show appearance as a guest. This method is effective because it subtly introduces the product to the audience without them being aware of it.


Also Read: Getting Closer to the 4P Marketing Strategy and Its Development


3. Benefits of Product Placement

Product placement offers various benefits to brands. Here's a detailed explanation of some key benefits of product placement:


3.1 Increasing Brand Awareness

Product placement helps increase brand awareness in a more subtle and organic manner compared to traditional advertisements. Viewers exposed to products in a natural and engaging context are more likely to remember the brand and product.


3.2 Cost-Effective Compared to Traditional Advertising

Compared to traditional advertisements like TV or print media, product placement generally requires lower costs. This is because brands don't have to incur substantial expenses for ad creation and placement.


3.3 Building Emotional Connection Between Brand and Audience

Product placement allows brands to build emotional connections with the audience. When products are showcased positively and relevantly, it can create positive associations in viewers' minds and enhance brand loyalty.


3.4 Reaching a Broader Audience

product placement

Image Source: Freepik


Product placement enables brands to reach a wider audience, including those who may not be interested in traditional advertisements. This is because product placement can appear across various media platforms like films, television, video games, and social media.


3.5 Long-Term Sales Boost

While product placement may not directly boost sales in the short term, it can help increase brand awareness and brand image, ultimately driving sales in the long run.


3.6 Enhancing Brand Reputation

Well-executed product placement can enhance brand reputation. When products are showcased positively and credibly, it can build consumer trust and confidence in the brand. With a positively enhanced brand reputation, word of mouth among consumers can be triggered.


4. Advantages and Disadvantages of Product Placement

Product placement has several advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional marketing strategies. Here's a detailed explanation of some key advantages and disadvantages of product placement:


4.1 Advantages of Product Placement

  1. Potential for Viral Reach

Well-executed and engaging product placements can potentially go viral, especially in today's social media era. Viewers who appreciate these placements may share them on social media, increasing brand reach and awareness.

  1. Natural Integration

Properly integrated product placements in media programs can appear more natural and organic compared to traditional ads. This makes product placement less intrusive and more easily accepted by viewers.

  1. Subconscious Influence

Product placement can influence the audience's subconscious mind. When products are repeatedly displayed positively, it can make viewers more familiar with and positively associate with the brand.

  1. High Recall Value

Creative and engaging product placements can be well-remembered by viewers. This is because product placement is tied to the storyline and characters in media programs, making it easier to leave an impression on viewers.


4.2 Disadvantages of Product Placement

  1. Difficult to Monitor Efficiency

The effectiveness of product placement is challenging to measure and monitor accurately. Unlike traditional ads with clear statistical data, product placement lacks precise metrics to measure its impact on brand awareness, brand image, and sales.

  1. Lack of Direct Call to Action (CTA)

Product placement generally lacks a clear call to action (CTA) like traditional ads. This means that product placement may not directly prompt viewers to make a purchase or take specific actions.

  1. Negative Reputation of Actors or Programs Affects Brand Image

If the actors or media programs featuring product placements have negative reputations, it can negatively affect the brand image. Therefore, it's crucial for brands to choose the right media platforms and actors for product placement.


Also Read: Here Are the 6 Most Effective Online Marketing Strategies!


5. Examples of Product Placement

Here are some examples of successful product placements:


5.1 Kopiko

Kopiko candy from PT Mayora Indah Tbk has gained international fame, featured in Korean dramas like "Taxi Driver 2", "Tomorrow", "Little Women", "Mine", "Today’s Webtoon", "Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha", and "Vincenzo". These appearances strengthen Kopiko's brand awareness and image internationally.


5.2 Indomie

Indomie instant noodles are not only dominant in the Indonesian market but have also reached various countries. Its popularity is evident in the Korean drama titled "Vagabond".


5.3 Scarlett Whitening

Scarlett Whitening, a local skincare brand founded by Felicya Angelista, cleverly utilizes product placement strategies. The brand appears in the Korean drama "Reborn Rich" starring Song Joong Ki, Scarlett Whitening's Brand Ambassador, and "Today’s Webtoon".


5.4 Nabati

Nabati snacks from PT Kaldu Sari Nabati Indonesia are loved by many. Nabati wafers were featured in the drama "The Fabulous" with a supermarket setting, starring Min-ho SHINee.


5.5 Nutrisari

Nutrisari fruit juice not only refreshes but also appears in films and dramas. In the film "Yowis Ben!", Nutrisari is enjoyed by characters during hangouts and jokes. In the film "Pengabdi Setan 2: Communion", Nutrisari accompanies Wina (Tara Basro) and her family.


5.6 Subway

Subway restaurants are popular not only in Indonesia but also in Hollywood films. In "The Avengers", Subway is where the Avengers superheroes have lunch after saving New York City. In "Spider-Man: No Way Home", Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) have lunch at Subway while investigating the multiverse.


5.7 Apple

Apple products are famous for their advanced technology and also make appearances in films and dramas. For example, in "The Social Network", Apple MacBooks are used by Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) and Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) to develop Facebook.

In conclusion, the above provides a comprehensive overview of product placement marketing strategies and how they work. It's important to note that product placement can be an effective strategy to enhance brand awareness and sales. However, it's crucial to use this strategy carefully and consider all its advantages and disadvantages before implementation.


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